US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

Wednesday at 7:43 AM
Nov 10, 2017

and here comes a pretty tough article
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source is BreakingDefense
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ACC: Why Replace One Vulnerable J-Stars With Another?
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The U.S. Air Force’s $7 billion decision whether to replace the
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E-8C J-Stars with another radar-carrying aircraft or take another path comes down to survivability, and how long it might take to field something better.

If facing a well-equipped adversary, Air Combat Command believes the
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707-based E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-Stars) would probably be shot out of the sky before it could get close enough to a target to be useful. Buying another vulnerable, commercial-derivative aircraft to replace the 16-strong E-8C fleet won’t solve that fundamental problem.

“We don’t believe the J-Stars Recapitalization will give us the capability we need in contested or highly contested environments,” says ACC chief Gen. Mike Holmes, speaking at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in Washington on Nov. 20. “The decision as we go forward is whether we need to invest in one for uncontested environments while we bridge to a global capability that could do that on any battlefield, or not.”

The service issued a request for proposals for an E-8C replacement in December 2016, a deal potentially worth up to $6.9 billion for the development and production of 17 aircraft. Boeing responded with a proposal based on its
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airliner. Northrop is offering a Gulfstream G550-based J-Stars, while Lockheed has teamed with
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to offer the Global 6000. One of these aircraft would replace the E-8C, which is equipped with a 24-ft. APY-7 passive array radar.

The E-8C was conceived in the 1980s as a way of detecting Soviet troops mobilizing for war in Eastern Europe. These days, the aircraft are used mostly for relaying battlefield communications and detecting small, moving targets, like vehicles and dismounted insurgents.

Although ground-moving target indication is one of J-Stars’ core competencies, Holmes notes that several other platforms introduced since the E-8C have this same capability or better. Those include the Air Force’s Northrop RQ-4B Block 40
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, the U.S. Navy’s
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and the U.S. Army’s Beechcraft King Air 350 and Bombardier Dash 8-based Northrop ZPY-5 Vehicle And Dismount Exploitation Radar, or Vader. Meanwhile, the Air Force is funding the development of two competing active, electronically scanned array radars by Northrop and
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for J-Stars, which will provide essentially the same capability, albeit specialized for overland surveillance.

Holmes says no decision has been made yet about proceeding with, or canceling, the J-Stars competition. He would prefer that the Air Force concentrate its scarce time and resources on a survivable platform that can operate in a tactical, contested environment, something the E-8C, Global Hawk and Poseidon cannot do today. But he notes that this will take many years to develop, and a simpler E-8C replacement program might be needed in the interim. “Do we need to invest in one more recapitalization before we move to the future, or are there other ways we can bridge that gap between now and the future?” he asks. “No decision made yet.”

Despite the uncertainty, Congress has approved more than $400 million in fiscal 2018 to support the J-Stars Recap program. The E-8C, based in Georgia, also has powerful backers in Congress who have been pressing the Air Force to stay the current course.


Tyrant King
Nov 10, 2017

and here comes a pretty tough article
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source is BreakingDefense
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related to the post right above is USAF doubts new JSTARS could fly in contested airspace
21 November, 2017
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Wednesday at 7:43 AM

ACC: Why Replace One Vulnerable J-Stars With Another?
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Where there is smoke...
Interestingly The USAF originally wanted to build a Stealth JSTARS before they moved to the Boeing 707.
This Star Wars like aircraft is Northrop's Tacit Blue, which would be the basis for the modern Stealth technologies found in the Raptor and most modern Stealth descendants was originally part of the Assault Breaker program was to originally be Partnered with this the Pave Mover Radar antenna
This would have formed the Battlefield Surveillance Aircraft-Experimental (BSAX) A stealthy JSTARS using a Low probability of Intercept that would probe the edges of Enemy Airspace and ground moving target indication data to Allied assets via a Ground control center.
Furthermore some Defence Analysts have noted some people in the know have paid reference to JSTARS UAV programs attached to RQ3 Darkstar and RQ170.
RQ170 as we know though seemed to lack this capacity and was used as a more tactical UAV So it seems that they elected not to equip RQ170 with the sensors of a ground moving target indication radar system. So it may be that like the RQ3 the RQ170 was found wanting in some regard for that role and the USAF has some other platform (perhaps RQ180?) Stashed in some hanger north of Las Vegas South East of Reno and South of Battle mountain and west of Lincoln County.


Lieutenant General
Registered Member
USAF use
B-61-7 and 11 with 0.3 to 170 kt for fighters but no F-15C and F-22 logicaly + B-2
B-83 more big powerful 1.2 Mt only for B-2
AGM-86B 2400 + km, 150kt only for B-52H
For Bombers mainly limitations for START treaty

Futur B61-12 much more accurate than actuals B-61s, 50 kts replace all others bombs

In November 2015, a test of the B61-12 was conducted where the bomb penetrated underground, showing its potential as a nuclear earth-penetrator. Although ground penetration was not an objective of the Mod 12 upgrade, it could allow it to take up the penetrating mission of the B61-11, which has no life-extension planned and will expire in the 2030s. Being able to penetrate underground increases its effectiveness against buried targets, as it more efficiently transmits explosive energy through enhanced ground-shock coupling, allowing its max yield of 50 kilotons underground to have the equivalent surface-burst capability of a 750 kt to 1.25 megaton weapon. The B61-12's increased accuracy and earth-penetration capability allows a lower strike yield to be selected
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USAF B-61-12.jpg
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I saw it in like every naval resource I check, so now decided to post about that misery:
USS Fitzgerald Back in Yokosuka After Suffering Damage During Transit
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USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), crippled in a deadly June collision with a merchant ship, suffered two hull punctures over the weekend by the special transport vessel hired to bring the guided-missile destroyer to the U.S. from Japan for repairs.

Fitzgerald returned to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, Japan, to repair the pair of punctures caused by the steel support structure on semi-submersible heavy lift transport vessel Transshelf, owned by the Dutch marine conglomerate Royal Boskalis Westminster. The punctures occurred Friday, after Fitzgerald was towed out to deep water and was loading onto Transshelf, according to a statement released by the U.S. 7th Fleet.

Following the June 19 collision, which claimed the lives of seven sailors, Fitzgerald returned to Yokosuka where initial repairs were made in dry dock, and the ship was prepared to be transported back to the US for major repairs. Work included dewatering, defueling, hull and superstructure repairs, and placing key systems in layup maintenance, according to a statement released by U.S. 7th Fleet.

Since October, Fitzgerald had in the water, pierside, waiting for transport to the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
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in August a $29.4 million contract to perform the initial planning work to repair the warship. The total cost to repair Fitzgerald, according to an early Navy estimate obtained by USNI News, is about $3687 million.

The June collision punched a hole in Fitzgerald below the waterline, and damaged several high-end electronic systems, such as the integrated radio room on the ship and the starboard forward array of the ship’s A/N-SPY1D(v) air search radar, according to the Navy.
this is interesting:
Top Enlisted Leaders Push Back: There Is No Readiness ‘Crisis’
Recent deadly accidents are concerning, but part of the risk of military operations around the globe, they said.

Despite a rash of fatal accidents across the services, the U.S. military’s top enlisted leaders said Monday that Washington’s talk of a readiness crisis was overblown.

“I’ve been in 34 years. Every day there’s a crisis in something,” Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green said at a press briefing with his fellow service senior enlisted advisors today. “But you walk out and ask the average Marine, ‘Are we in a crisis?’ I don’t think he’ll tell you we are in a crisis.”

Still, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was “
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” at the military’s poor state of readiness when he returned to the Pentagon as its civilian leader. And lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned that 2017’s plane crashes, ship collisions, and other non-combat deaths are evidence that the military is breaking under the strain of 16 years of war. Just last week, a U.S. Navy C-2A Greyhound transport plane crashed in the western Pacific,
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The enlisted leaders said observer in and out of the Pentagon aren’t wrong to say more demands are being placed on the services. Investigations found that several of the Navy’s recent collisions at sea, for example, were at least partly the result of
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But “from my perspective, from a joint perspective, I don’t think we’re in crisis right now,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Yes, the services and their troops are concerned — about everything from those accidents and maintenance issues to the ever-unpredictable federal budget — but there’s a difference between an acute catastrophe and the reality of operating a force of over a million active duty troops around the world.

“You may see the challenges that we all have as a service, that any organization might have,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright. “What you might not see are the thousands and thousands of great things our servicemembers do on a regular basis…While we do have challenges, we’ve always had challenges, we likely always will have challenges in the future.”

Top national-security voices on Capitol Hill, however, are deeply troubled by the state of the military’s readiness. It’s one of the key reasons cited by Armed Services Committee leaders for
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for 2018.

“Most importantly, this legislation will help reverse the dangerous readiness crisis that is endangering the lives of our men and women in uniform,” read a joint statement by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, and Rep. Mac Thornberry R-Texas, when the House and Senate armed services committees agreed to a conference report on the bill.

Both houses passed the legislation; it’s now awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature.

But war, ongoing demands, and increasing equipping costs as technology evolves all are justification enough, the enlisted leaders said.

“As the world becomes more unstable around us, the need for increased readiness” will only grow, Wright said. “We don’t see that as a crisis inside the military; we’re responding to the threats and the challenges of the world around us.”
source is DefenseOne
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Nov 17, 2017
What’s inside the $700 billion defense budget plan headed to Trump's desk?
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"... Whether the military will have that much money to spend is still up for debate. The authorization bill sets policy priorities and spending parameters for military funding for fiscal 2018, but appropriators still must allot the money to the Defense Department before they can move ahead.

That process is expected to take several more weeks. ..."

... and I'm going to quote this post
getting ready ..: Trump’s tweet sparks fears of a looming government shutdown

1 hour ago
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Another round of political fights between the president and congressional Democrats has raised the possibility of a partial government shutdown in December, potentially disrupting Pentagon operations and military paychecks.

Lawmakers need to settle on a budget extension by Dec. 8 — the day a continuing resolution currently funding government operations expires — or risk a shutdown of all but essential operations.

Republican and Democratic leaders were scheduled to sit down Tuesday afternoon with President Donald Trump to discuss a path ahead, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., opted to skip the meeting after Trump took to Twitter to criticize them.

"Given that the president doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead,” the Democratic leaders said in a statement.

That drew more criticism from White House officials. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president believes the leaders should “put aside their pettiness” and “stop the political grandstanding.”

In a separate statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of “putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk by pulling these antics.”

The last lengthy partial government shutdown took place in 2013, connected to fights over the federal budget and the national debt ceiling. It lasted 16 days, temporarily furloughing thousands of government workers and disrupting a host of agency programs.

In the hours before that shutdown, lawmakers passed emergency legislation to ensure that members of the military and essential Defense Department employees would continue receiving paychecks while the fight dragged on.

But that did not include payouts to the families of deceased military personnel. Lawmakers had to scramble new legislation 10 days into the disruption to ensure those families received the death benefits, after embarrassing stories surfaced about the pain the political fight was causing those families.

If another shutdown takes place, members of Congress would again have to address those issues legislatively to prevent military pay and benefits issues from arising.

Military operations overseas were given funding priority during the 2013 shutdown, with office closings and program halts confined to bases far from the front lines. Daycare and commissary services were not deemed essential to department operations, forcing curtailed hours and closures at those facilities.

And civilian workers deemed nonessential spent the shutdown at home without pay. After a deal was reached to end the impasse, Congress awarded them back pay for the lost time.

Department of Veterans Affairs operations were impacted less by the 2013 shutdown — and would see fewer challenges in a 2017 shutdown too — because the department receives advanced appropriations in the annual budget cycle.

That means most veterans benefits checks would continue uninterrupted and VA medical centers would remain open. However, information hotlines and job training programs would be temporarily shuttered.

Pelosi and Schumer said they are “continuing to work in good faith, as we have been for the last month, with our Republican colleagues in Congress” to avoid another shutdown.
Where there is smoke...
and in the meantime (dated Nov 27, 2017)
Raytheon Protesting USAF’s J-Stars Northrop Radar Pick
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The U.S. Air Force has chosen
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’s wide-area surveillance radar for its future J-Stars platform over
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’s “Archimedes” sensor.

The source-selection decision is now the subject of a bid protest by Raytheon, which filed a complaint with the
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on Nov. 20.

The Air Force has not made any announcement and has yet to confirm the pick, but sources say the decision was made earlier this month in Northrop’s favor.

If the decision survives Raytheon’s challenge, Northrop’s gallium nitride-based active, electronically scanned array radar will become the primary feature of the Air Force’s replacement for the Northrop E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-Stars).

Raytheon still believes it has the better radar solution for J-Stars. “Our radar solution for the J-Stars program offers the Air Force the most mature and capable technology available to meet this urgent need. Based on our assessment, the evaluation process had significant flaws, and we have filed a protest accordingly,” the company said in a Nov. 27 statement.

The J-Stars Recapitalization program is worth $6.9 billion for 17 radar-carrying surveillance and battle management command-and-control aircraft, replacing 16 outdated E-8Cs based on secondhand
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The prime contenders are Boeing, offering a special-mission derivative of its
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Boeing Business Jet; Northrop Grumman, which has teamed with Gulfstream to offer the G550; and
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, which has proposed
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’s Global 6000.

An Air Force spokeswoman for the J-Stars Recap program office at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, declined to comment on the radar pick because it remains the subject of a wider source selection. Another senior spokeswoman for the Air Force said: “We remain in source selection for JSTARS Recap, so I am unable to provide any additional information at this time.”

Northrop’s radar group in Baltimore has been competing against Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in McKinney, Texas, to be the sensor provider for whichever platform is eventually selected. Both teams have been maturing their competing airborne radar designs under risk-reduction contracts awarded by the Air Force on March 24, 2016, and they have been barred from exclusively teaming with any prime.

Northrop’s radar risk-reduction contract was valued at up to $70 million, and Raytheon’s was capped at $60 million, with $7.5 million obligated to each team at the time of the award. The periods of performance ran through Sept 30, 2017.

Northrop’s winning radar could succeed the E-8C’s APY-7, maintained by Northrop. The 24-ft. antenna can detect ground targets at distances of up to 150 mi. (240 km). With a 120-deg. field of view, the sensor can detect small, moving targets, including vehicles and dismounted troops over vast distances.

The J-Stars acquisition is the subject of intense debate within the Pentagon, Air Force and Congress. The service still hasn’t decided whether to proceed with the program, despite spending upward of $250 million on risk-reduction activities thus far. Air Combat Command isn’t convinced that a one-for-one replacement of the E-8 with another vulnerable commercial-derivative aircraft is worth the investment.

But the program office at Hanscom has been directed to proceed with the source-selection process until a final decision is made. Having chosen its preferred radar, the office must now choose a platform.

Boeing, Lockheed and Northrop submitted their proposals earlier this year, but still don’t have any firm answers from the Air Force about whether the J-Stars program will proceed or be terminated. The companies have been involved with the J-Stars Recap since its launch in 2015.

Raytheon and Northrop haven’t said too much about their competing radars, but more is known about Raytheon’s offering than Northrop’s. Both radars employ Open Mission Systems standards and gallium nitride components. Both would be more sensitive than any airborne radar previously delivered to the U.S. government, capable of detecting slow-moving objects on land and even submarine periscopes at sea. Raytheon’s radar is derived from the
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’s new APS-154 Advanced Airborne Sensor. It was originally called “Skynet” but has been rebranded “Archimedes.”

Northrop declined to comment.
according to DefenseNews Complex PAC-3 missile test paves way for full-rate production decision
Five Patriot Advanced Capability — 3 interceptors took out four tactical ballistic missile targets in a recent test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, according to a Lockheed Martin statement released Tuesday.

Four PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) interceptors and one PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) completed the complex test.

The PAC-3 MSE intercept met a requirement that “supports” a full-rate production decision for that variant, according to the statement.

The MSE version has a larger, dual-pulse solid-rocket motor and larger control fins that double the missile’s reach and improve performance against evolving ballistic and cruise missiles.

According to Lockheed, the test “reconfirmed PAC-3 CRI and MSE’s ability to detect, track and intercept incoming missiles while meeting fielded reliability requirements.”

The U.S. Army fired the PAC-3 MSE for the first time in a successful intercept test during the summer of 2016. The MSE went up against a full-scale, air-breathing target and demonstrated the weapon’s ability to detect, track, engage and intercept an aircraft.
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